In 2009, I’d thought that scrutiny would be unearthed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the character was a far cry from what fans saw in the pages of their favorite issues. At first, it seemed like the film was going in the right direction, presenting a pre-costumed Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) as he showcased his skills with a couple of Katanas, deflecting bullets and killing the bad guys with them. All the while, Reynolds gave a perfect performance as the Merc with a Mouth, cracking one-liners here and there, as us fan boys were just waiting for him to put on his signature red and black costume. But he didn’t and the character was ruined in more ways than one (see my 5/6/2009 review here for more details) during the climax of that film.
Things started looking good back in 2014 when some leaked test footage was introduced into the World Wide Web and to the public, giving us an idea of what a Deadpool movie might’ve looked and sounded like. The footage was a complete motion-captured animated reel of the title character—voiced by Ryan Reynolds—in an exciting scene where he jumps from a freeway overpass to go after some bad guys. Although the action is intense and fast, it still featured a bit of comedy from Reynolds, but that’s exactly what us comic book fans saw in the series of books over the years. Well, the gamble paid off (obviously someone purposely leaked this footage to have the fans voice their desire to get a movie made) and Fox greenlit the movie. Only one little item needed to be announced—at least to most fans of the character—and that was the decision on whether the film would be rated PG-13 or R. It wasn’t until April 1st, when a video was released to the public showing Mario Lopez interviewing Ryan Reynolds about the movie (a nice April fool’s joke that you can see here) when they announced the film would be rated R.
So here we are, almost 7 years later since the first abysmal incarnation of Deadpool was shown in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and we get the film we’ve been waiting for.
A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego, Deadpool.
The film is helmed by Tim Miller, who has really never had much experience in directing, only directing a couple of short films before taking the job to oversee this movie. Miller has worked on some special effects in video games and was an assistant director in the opening sequence to Thor: The Dark World, but not much else—but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. That, along with the miniscule budget, tells you the confidence Fox had in this film (not much) and it kind of scares me when I think about what they might do with the sequel (which has already been given the greenlight). But, for now, let’s just talk about Deadpool.
From the moment the movie begins—and I’m talking about the opening credits right after the 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare—it is hilarious. Instead of seeing “starring Ryan Reynolds,” you read stuff like, “starring some hot guy” or “produced by a bunch of ass hats” and many others I can’t recall right at this moment. Knowing the source material, I was expecting a lot of humor and got more than I’d expected.
Ryan Reynolds, for one, is completely in his element here—his natural motor mouth, spitting out humor, where in other movies you’d wish he’d shut up, but here, you want more and more of it. You can tell he’s really trying to please the comic book fans and completely doesn’t give a shit about who he might offend. He’s constantly mouthing off about how little the budget is for the movie, as well as poking fun of the X-Men franchise, which is pretty brave seeing that the franchise’s movie rights are owned by Fox…who is producing this movie.
The humor is all very self-referential and you have to be in on the joke, especially when you hear Deadpool poke fun about the actors who play characters in the X-Men movie universe. I know…it doesn’t make too much sense, but you have to just sit back and enjoy this ride and not worry about the logistics of anything said or done in this flick. The movie borrows a lot of these themes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where the main character is always narrating straight to the audience, breaking the fourth wall, but completely keeping everything in check. The only difference in Deadpool is that it goes beyond that, pointing out that this is a movie and the main hero is self-aware of that fact. A scene that hits that home is when Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic, motion captured by Greg LaSalle) is trying to bring in Deadpool, telling him he needs to brought to Professor Xavier and he asks, “McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines can get so confusing!”
In between the comedy is a lot of great action that can get quite gory at times. We see Deadpool jumping and flipping around, shooting bad guys dead, sometimes using one bullet to shoot three guys at a time through their heads…it’s all such a rollercoaster ride that you may want to see the movie again just to catch what you’ve missed.
You can see that Reynolds really has a bone to pick with the first time he’d played Wade Wilson as he makes quips about how there’ll be trouble if the lead baddie, Ajax (Ed Skrein), sews his mouth shut. The film even goes as far as to feature an action figure of that sad rendition of Deadpool from that first stand-alone Wolverine movie. Also, most of us had heard his comments in the trailer where he says, “please don’t make the super suit green…or animated,” obviously poking fun at the Green Lantern film he’d starred in a few years ago.
It was interesting that the filmmakers decided to feature Colossus in this story, but depicted the character as he’s portrayed in the comics instead of just bringing in Daniel Cudmore to reprise his role from the X-Men movies. In the comics, he’s a huge guy and has a Russian accent and that’s how he’s shown here. It just makes me wonder what they’ll do with the X-Men franchise now. Which Colossus will they feature? The smaller American? Or the big Russian? Thinking that it was only going to be a cameo, I was also mildly surprised that Colossus had such a big part in this story. And not only him, but Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) also had a bit of screen time as well. Reynolds’s scenes with her are so funny and memorable, it’s a wonder Hildebrand was able to keep a straight face in those scenes.
So, my final “bit” is…YES. Go see this movie! You’ll get a bit of X-Men, a lot of humor and laughs, action galore, a bit of romance…everything you’ll want in a movie. I had a great time with it and I expect that the superhero movies coming up are going to have a tough time beating Deadpool at the box office. So what are you waiting for? Go now!
Thanks for reading!